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Homeschooling vs. umbrella/private homeschooling and special needs

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I'm teaching my son next year! Woohoo. smile.gif I live in Oregon. He has attention issues. Public school did not work for him. Testing was hard and very difficult for him to get through because of the sitting still and focus required for the task (reading and answer questions especially). He is "behind" but more so tests behind because he can't focus to stay on task but can almost do grade level work when he has full one-on-one. He had an IEP in public school. I ended up opting him out of the oaks state testing after the first round (he was just a few points below grade level on math).

I'm really hoping to avoid testing him with standard achievement tests. I don't mind portfolio type evaluations.

Should I homeschool him officially or homeschool him under an umbrella school? And can the umbrella school be located anywhere in the nation? Do I have to let the public school district or the ESD know he is doing a private school if I do that? Also, any non-invasive umbrella recommendations if I go that route?

He could also probably fit under the IEP category (so no testing could be required) or get a privately developed plan as per Oregon law.

Wayyyyyy too much that I don't know about here. Advice? Direction? Also I'm not sure if I should consider seeing if the school would be willing to provide some special Ed services still (the law seems to indicate they should if they can but don't really have to).
post #2 of 8
Thread Starter 
Oh and he is normal or above normal intelligence. Does seem to have some dyslexia type stuff going on but the school thought that was in the ok range. He has mild sensory type sensitivities. Mostly he is just super distractible! He knows more than he appears to and more than he can show on a standardized test. He does well with working on homework with me and performs well with teachers directly so I'm hoping homeschool will be a good fit for him.

He is 8 years old and just finishing 3rd grade next week. He wouldn't be required to be tested or evaluated until the end of 5th.
post #3 of 8
We are completely independent and totally love it. It is scary to be 100% on our own, but it also offers us complete freedom to teach when and what we want to teach. We don't have anyone above us telling us what to do or how to do it. And best of all, no standardized tests. My boys never took them seriously, so they always performed lower than where they actually are capable of. We belong to a homeschool group, but only for park days, socialization, field trips, and its nice to bounce ideas off of other homeschooling moms.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the feedback. smile.gif So is your state very lax or do you just not register with the ESD?
post #5 of 8

"Do I have to let the public school district or the ESD know he is doing a private school if I do that?"


Yes, you have to let the ESD know.


We're in Oregon too, and I want to point out that the standardized testing isn't something to be afraid of. When our kids did it, we told them it wasn't a big deal, to just fill in the bubble for what they thought the answer was and move on. He may not do well on their test, bu really, so what? It's just a hoop we jump through.

post #6 of 8
I encourage you to become familiar with your state's law. I'm in PA, and once the child has been in school and identified as special needs there are additional rules to comply with state law. So get a good understanding of your laws. nhen.org is the national home education network site, and has links to sites for each state that can be relied on for the law/rules for each state. Start there.

Testing is more for the school than the child. Based on test scores, the district is eligible for state and federal funds. While homeschooled children are usually not exempt, it generally has no impact on eligibility for continued homeschooling.

For next year, a non-test year, make sure you know what you need to do, and otherwise do what you think is best. Then find out what tests are allowed for meeting the testing requirements in your state. You can even have him take a test, just so it becomes a part of usual end of year stuff, if you can afford to do so. Otherwise, relax next year and focus on the transition. When it is time that testing is required, try not to worry. What will be, will be. And you know what's important -- what your child actually *knows*. Good luck.
post #7 of 8

You need to know your states laws, but here in Colorado we use an umbrella school so we have zero contact with the state or school district. Our umbrella school offers classes for a charge but we don't use them. Basically we send them in our fees and plans for the year, not extensive, just a tenative calendar and curriculum list. Then at the end of the year we send them the actual dates/hours we did. Also we do personal evaluations in lew of standardized tests, every odd year starting in 3rd grade.

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
You can have an umbrella school outside of your state right? Any tips for finding a good one?
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